Depression After Spiritual Enlightenment

Realizing the emptiness of all things is a normal part of spiritual awakening. For some people that leads to serious depression and the feeling that life is pointless. If you feel stuck in this painful nihilistic perspective, you are not alone.

I received a very poignant message from a reader who went to see a psychiatrist because her feelings of profound emptiness were causing her to feel depressed and listless. Everything that used to matter was suddenly empty, pointless. The more her sense of a separate self dissolved into oneness with the infinite, the more she was left feeling hollow and empty inside. Her doctor gave her medication, which blunted the extremes; she no longer feels the deepest lows, but the emptiness and hollowness are still present. And the more she is absorbed in oneness with what she calls God, the more everything else loses significance, the more pointless and meaningless everything else becomes. She feels alone in this experience, as though no one else who experiences spiritual awakening goes through this bleak depression.

Depression after spiritual awakening is common. But who wants to talk about it publicly? You will hear endless accounts of bliss and oneness. But it’s not often that people want to talk about how difficult it can be to adjust. Yes, there is bliss and oneness but there can also be tremendous sorrow or disorientation or feelings of profound bleakness. Sometimes these bleak feelings even happen at the same time as bliss and oneness. People euphemistically call this The Dark Night Of The Soul. Well, that sounds poetic, doesn’t it? But it doesn’t feel so poetic when you are in the middle of it. Especially if you believe that it’s not supposed to be this way and that you are the only one.

I regard spiritual awakening as a kind of second puberty. Only, in modern times there is at least more information and dialogue about the first puberty, and teenagers know they are not the only ones who go through it. Spiritual puberty is mysterious, not widely discussed and often shrouded in layers upon layers of traditional religious dogma or New Age carnival drama. Just imagine if you were 13 and going through puberty, only you had never actually met another person who had gone through it, you had nobody to talk to about it and the information that you could find was either written by some Indian dudes centuries ago in cryptic language or modern people channeling extra terrestrials. Imagine if you went to the doctor (and of course, your doctor knew nothing about puberty!) because you started growing hair in weird places and had intense mood swings.

Of course, when we are teenagers going through puberty everyone expects us to have intense feelings, they expect us to be awkward in expressing or managing our feelings, and they know we are changing rapidly. There is information and support. When you feel like your whole world is over because some boy doesn’t like you or you didn’t make the swim team, ideally your parents are there to assure you that it will pass and that having these intense feelings (on both ends of the spectrum, because you can also feel intensely in love or on top of the world during puberty) is normal for your age. At the time you don’t really appreciate that your parents are normalizing your experience, it doesn’t seem to help because you still feel like it’s the end of the world. But what if no one was there to normalize your experience?

I’m here to tell you that you are going through puberty. Just like the first, physical puberty, it’s most intense during the first five years or so, but even after that it takes some time to adjust and grow into this new state of being. Think about people who are twenty. Have they totally mastered their new adult status and are they holding their sexuality like an adept? Probably not.

Everyone goes through this spiritual puberty differently. That can include feeling things very intensely, things like being one with all that is, bliss, love. And also things like sorrow, anger, loneliness, alienation, homesickness, the suffering of others, meaninglessness. Imagine going through puberty and getting stuck in any of our intense feelings. It’s not that feeling them is a mistake, but getting stuck in any of them is definitely not good.

This isn’t just about not getting stuck in the bad feelings, but this applies also to the good feelings. We feel bliss and oneness and then we get attached to feeling these heights. We feel the depths of some unpleasant feeling and we get stuck there. We see the things in our lives that used to be so meaningful are suddenly empty and meaningless…and we get stuck there. We fixate on it and get stuck.

My theory? Your body will respond to this. If you are stuck in the bliss, your brain is pumping out a yummy and addictive cocktail. When the bliss subsides, you can be left in withdrawal. If you get stuck on the bleak end, your brain chemistry will veer into that of a depressed person, blocking neurotransmitters that allow you to feel good.

Some people will encounter emptiness and not become depressed, but some people do. Some people will encounter bliss and not become addicted to it, but some people will. No matter how you are responding to your spiritual puberty, you are definitely not alone.

Let’s examine this experience of emptiness a bit. Before you wake up, you are living from a center of being. That center of being is your belief in a separate and real self. Some call this “ego” but I really don’t like this term. It was coined by Sigmund Freud and has become very popular, but I don’t really give much credence to Freud’s work in general. Anyway, this personality-self gives meaning, significance and importance to all kinds of things: people, relationships, jobs, religious or spiritual beliefs, everything. It all has a meaning. And hopefully your life and actions have a purpose. Maybe that purpose is quite mundane, or maybe you have a wonderful virtuous life purpose…to become enlightened or to help other people. Wonderful. Until you wake up.

All the purpose and meaning you projected onto the world is suddenly gone. Does this take some adjustment? Yes! If you don’t adjust well and don’t adjust immediately, does this mean you suck at being an enlightened person? No. But do realize when you are getting stuck in one experience and perspective.

Something I’ve noticed on this journey is that I don’t get to find a comfy place and just stay there. It’s so comfortable to believe in things, to believe in progress or ascension or heaven or virtue or helping people or that there is some purpose at all for anything. When my daughter was born and I held her in my arms for the first time, did I need a purpose for her being? No. When I look at the bees going from flower to flower in my garden, do I need them to have a purpose? How about my beloved cat, who is at this moment curled up into a perfect black furry ball next to me, sleeping? What is his purpose? Out of the Absolute, out of the Body Of God, out of the mysterious nothingness, all of these things appear. What is their purpose? Do they need a purpose? Or, if they do have a purpose, do I need to know it?

Purpose and meaning are subtle movements of the mind. It says it would like a comfy place to stand on, some real estate. You may look around and be able to find no real estate. Even if you wanted to find purpose and meaning in things, you can’t anymore. Is there any point to my cat, or the bees in the garden, or my daughter? I don’t know.

Is there any purpose to this blog? Do I have some virtuous mission to help people? What’s the point? From my perspective, there is no point and no purpose. This is just a natural expression of an instinct I have to share and communicate. It’s no big deal. It’s not my life mission, it’s not my purpose. Yet I am still able to do it and enjoy it.

Readers tell me I’ve helped them, and that feels great. But it’s not serious. If I have helped ten people, would it be worth it? If I helped only one person, would that be worth it? What is this idea of worth? Do I really need to justify doing something by ascribing a value to it? Do I need to justify my actions, or even my existence by placing a meaning or value on it? Or can I just act instinctively, naturally, like my cat or the bees?

Yes, you can see everything as empty, including yourself. And when confronted with this profound emptiness, you can become very disoriented. But the emptiness can also be liberating, if you release the mind’s insistence of meaning and purpose. Release it and see what comes. What is it like to live life without the (security) tyranny of meaning/purpose? Be curious about it and see. I’m not saying it is easy, but you can absolutely shift your perspective at any time. Both my cat and I are equally empty, without purpose or meaning, and yet…how delightful we are! How perfect we are! How I rejoice in our being.

Another thing to consider if you’ve gotten stuck in depression is that you’ll need to shift your body as well as your perspective. Do things that will assist your brain to shift out of being stuck in depression. These things include eating for optimum brain health (minerals/aminos/vitamins/lots of healthy fats), cut out unhealthy or empty foods, definitely don’t drink alcohol or anything other depressants, stabilize your blood sugar (seriously, unstable blood sugar leads to mood instability). Get moderate to vigorous exercise daily. Try spending 10 minutes a day on a rebounder, which helps move lymph and can temporarily lift your mood. You don’t have to get a big one, there are small ones that fit neatly under your bed. Get sunshine when possible, and supplement with high quality vitamin D3, which is well known as essential for mood support. These are all things that support your body in shifting to a healthier mood pattern.

Once your perspective and your body have shifted to a more neutral position, you can begin your adjustment. It may take a long time to adjust to living life while holding the essential emptiness of things. There is nothing in modern life that supports this, everything is built around purpose and desire and achieving something. Don’t judge yourself or become impatient if you are having a hard time integrating. Just know that the turbulent part of spiritual puberty doesn’t last forever. It’s tempting to take it all so seriously, but it does pass. Our job is to hold it as lightly as we can and keep moving through it.

How about the rest of you? Do you have any good advice or insights for people who are getting stuck in depression? What has helped you to shift your perspective and get moving again?


READ

Spiritual awakening and depression

Coping with a pointless life

Losing your trajectory

Losing your motivation

Mastering your perspective

image: painting in a French cathedral


Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America

Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal: A Guide for Prescribers, Therapists, Patients and their Families

Your Drug May Be Your Problem: How and Why to Stop Taking Psychiatric Medications


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26 comments

  1. chris says:

    hi, ive been so confused the last year as to a deep profound spiritual experienced last year. at first it was great, so much so that i could not tell myself from the other, or other from myself. it was tranquil, quiet. it was like my entire world got flipped upside down on itself, and i was seeing its true nature. it was magical to say the least, i found myself in heaven, the etire world of physical being was gone, i was gone from it, and it all was empty. i was looking into spirit of the entire universe as it was. i felt done, there was nothing left in me to think or worry about, i was just living, but durring this time i experienced some lower vibration come into me, and it felt like i was forcfully being pulled back out of this place, or that this place i was in crumbled around myself. i feel like ive return to the physical plane of existance, but idk how to react, relate to it, or my physical self. i feel like heaven was destroyed within and around me. i can’t find any comfort in myselves or others, and i feel crazy not knowing how to precive all of this, its so unreal as what i precieve as real, or truth, yet i can not deny it happening to me. i fear that ive lost my mind. i feel as though i make no sense to others. what i experienced is the opposit of what the feeling of the physical world felt like when i felt it collapse around me. i cant tell up from down, left from right, death from birth, but the feeling of it isnt how i felt when the emtiness was full. it feels like the nonduel experience had been flipped, and all the empty space turned dark, and in on itself. it doesnt feel empty. the emptiness of it all feels dark, and idk what is me and what is not me, but from the other side of it all. like i feel insane. even talking to others on the path, i feel as though whatever i found has been misplaced, or mishaped, and the pain others feel about life seems better than the pain i am feeling, at least it gives them something to relate to, something to work of and work through, for me, all those problems appear better than what im going through. its all pointless and dark. i hate it. i wish christ, or buddha, whatever deity anyone would like to name it, would come back into me, and fill me up, direct me. where i stand is like being on the other side of the pure and powerful emptiness, its powerless, and i feel powerless to the dark. i try to be, go back to my old life where i had no clue of a world beyond this one, but i cant, i cant deny the world beyond this one, but i also do not know if it exists either. i feel trapped in the middle of it all. i feel like the sacred self, the sacred home has been destroyed, and i feel homeless. the home i felt comfort in is gone and i cry out all the time for it to become rebuilt, but i feel as though it never will be. im depressed and homesick in myself. this experience of myself is hell, and i just want to escape it all together. i feel like im suppose to kill myself, that i need to kill myself, but this isnt based on emotions, but rather my mind telling me to do so. its like my mind wants its death to happen to it, to this body. it wants to take me out. its scary not knowing. i feel like no matter how i try to talk, or put form to this, i feel stuck, no matter what advise, its all useless as what to do. all i know is that i once experienced god, the universe suck me into itself, become one with it, and then spit me back out into a world that is no longer real in my mind’s eye, and idk how to addapt to it, to my surroundings, to myself, to god. i feel stuck in the world but not of it, but i don’t think this is what the bible says about being in the world but not of it. this is the opposite of that heavenly state of it all. enlightenment was suppose to be freeing, but this is opposite of that experience. i feel like a drug adict chasing after that high of it all. am i crazy? i want to be able to just drop it all, but idk how. idk what to do in this life. i feel like i am just doing nothing even as i do something, its all meaningless and dark. i think about just coming back to the world, but i can never forget, or stop wondering what it all means now. i thought i found something full of meaning, myself, full of life, but idk if i did, or that i just went crazy. i just want to live, but i feel overwhelmed by it all, its like walking around as a ghost in a flesh body. i feel like no self, only full of a self that is not my self as i saw myself. i just want release of this confused mind, this darkness, this life, i want release so i can live in peace, rest in peace. idk what im saying in all this, all i know is ive felt the emptiness of self that was good, pure and full of life, but it feels lost again. its confusing that ive descended after experiencing a transending this state of mind of self. idk where the balance is anymore.

    • 21st Century Bodhi says:

      Hi Chris,

      I’m so sorry to hear you are in this very confusing, dark place. I know it feels like a living hell, but I understand it completely. I will answer you publicly when I have more time, but I’d also like to reach out to you privately. I sent an email to the address you left, but if you don’t get it, please go to the Contact section at the bottom of the page and send me a message with your correct email and I’ll respond. Believe me, you are not the only one to experience this.

      • Rema Ford says:

        I feel the same. Not necessarily sad, but completely empty. There is no purpose to my existence. Even worse, I also sometimes think I’m ready to die. Not that I want to hurt myself, but just that I no longer need to be here. There’s no reason to be here and the longer I’m here the longer my soul is separated. From what I don’t know.

        I keep hoping the extraterrestrials will have answers or at least purpose.

        • Michael Troojilo says:

          If their is no purpose why not make a purpose? Do what you want… like..I feel empty but..I’m gonna go like play a video game or something or spend time with people..make it what you want to do..you’re like.. a god or something..and… you can do what you want now and have fun with it! ^ ^ it’s like a sandbox..I’m just trying to help is all

    • peter says:

      Other than the array of losses, threats, hurts, lies, anger, deaths, loneliness, unrequited love, sadness, depression, melancholy, fear and pain I have encountered, everything that defined me basically. My most frightening experience would probably be losing my ego, shit, but the emptiness and void which followed was horrifying. Even though it was the ego that was tormenting me the most. Not only that but detaching myself from my loved ones immediately after that, christ, that was also mortifying (non supportive, narcissist family). Still, after that, detaching myself from materialism (forced losses tbh) just made me give up hope completely. God, I srsly wonder why anyone would want to walk this path (I didnt want to, it was forced onto me). I cant say im a happier person now (after all those losses, who would be?), but am able to let go of attachment (people, wealth, materials) more easily now. More balanced in life, but am directionless atm. If only all the people around me could experience the pain I went through, then they wouldnt be so quick to judge. After this torture, the only thing I want to do now is rest…. still unmotivating…

  2. chris says:

    thank you, i sent an email back, if you would be able to help guide me through this tough time, it would be greatly appreciated. ive been doing my best to help others the best i can when they are upset, or when they talk to me about so and so did this to me, and the best i can to help others out instead of constantly thinking how unreal this whole experience feels. its kind of helping, but still i feel out of place in this world. i know this is where ive been placed, but its really difficult to feel comfort in my skin, or to see this as a real world. from what i experienced, was that everything was illusionary, and it was good, pure and full of beauty, life. im thinking that i can’t just sit and dwell on that, and do what i can to muster up love and grace in myself, and give that love back to others. so i fucked up, i can’t just sit and dwell on it. i have a life to live, and love i need to muster up, and give to others, even if im not sure if i will go to heaven or find nirvana again, at this point it seems that i need to make it happen by remembering i have no choice but to follow a rightious path of love and acceptance of even my body, and others. i realize i havn’t been, but i can’t dwell on where i am, but make a choice to change it all again. i think through the confusion of it all, i may have implied myself more awake than others, but truth is that im not, i may have awaken at one point, but i realize im not now. if i was to become more awake, it would be that i need to pick myself up, and turn this around, make the best of this situation, and do the best i can to grow again and love, and stop worrying if i am spiritual enough, but work to become more spiritual, and start by loving the fact that i am given this life to be able to do so, that i have this voice, these hands to type with, legs to walk with. that i am not useless. i loved not being a self, but i realize that i need to get past that, and realize i need to get up and help others, be kind to others and myself and not dwell in this self loathing, worrying if i am damned. i think just sitting and dwelling is more a sin than accepting my place and living in this world, and doing my best to be kind and christ like. i may not be christ, or in the highest standings, but it doesnt mean i should give up trying, or working to be the best me that i can be. i just want peace and salvation for myself and others. i want happiness to spread world wide, but first i need to take a stand in myself to bring that part of me out into the world.

  3. Joan says:

    I am so grateful to have found this site and read this exact post as well as everything Chris posted. I am impressed that you Chris put what you did into words as I find it very difficult to communicate these feelings verbally let alone in writing but both the original post from 21st Century Bodhi and Chris’ post finally helped me to feel that I am not alone. I don’t even know who to talk to that can understand. If either of you would ever want to communicate verbally I would be ever so grateful. If not, no worries, I just thank you most sincerely.
    11\2\15

  4. Padster says:

    Been through some sort of spiritual awakening over the past two years. My beliefs have completely collapsed and I feel totally empty now. Nothing seems worth doing anymore. I loved my music, but performing it now is a chore so I don’t bother much. Trying to erase the emptiness with alcohol and strong food flavours. Life is indeed pointless.

  5. Maria says:

    Chris, you have spelled out every single symptoms I’ve been experiencing these last few months. Thank you. I thought I was going nuts. I loved learning new things. When my son turned 21, I decided to go back to college. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a career student. I’ve always been eager to go to class. Last semester, I stopped attending in the midst of school semester. I don’t know why. Then I started to feel hollow inside, feeling as if I don’t belong here, that I want to go home but not sure where home is. Depression hits me now and then. Friends whom I treasured I start to alienate. I grew an aversion to the general public ( malls, parties, etc.).
    I thought that perhaps it’s SAD due to the cold weather, but I was wrong.

    I’m glad I stumbled onto this website. Reading about your plight was very enlightening. Thank you for sharing.

    I look forward to reading more.

    Take care.

  6. avyiana says:

    “I thought i found something full of meaning, myself, full of life, but idk if i did, or that i just went crazy. i just want to live, but i feel overwhelmed by it all, its like walking around as a ghost in a flesh body”

    I really, but really understand that part. I feel better to see other people dealing with the same thing, because, yes, some days it just feels surreal, and there is this feeling that we are just turning insane. And it’s hard to tell people, cause most of them do not understand, they relate it to what they know, to some earthy tings, to something pragmatic.
    I would like to talk with you Chris and with others who feel like this too.
    Some days I am myself having a very hard time, and some other days I feel a bit faithful and confident about things. Still, it would be great to talk to people who are living the same stuff.

  7. Peter says:

    I had a peak experience – one that fully transformed who I thought I was and everything about me. I realized I have limitless potential. I felt at one with the universe, complete calm and mindfulness and appreciation for everything. The following day I impulsively reverted back to one of my old habits which I am not proud of at all – one that is quite embarassing and do not wish to share. This episode immediately removed the self realization I had acquired and has left me feeling empty and depressed. Am I still the same person that achieved self realisation? Did I just mess up my entire life by falling out of this self realisation over one silly thing? I feel like the blinders have been put back on.

  8. Eden says:

    Over the past few years ive gone in and out of this sort of depression many times. There are periods of everything being calm, open and still, and CLEAR and Lucid… my physical and emotional and energetic bodies are relaxed and cozy and my feels like untethered and floating. It feels like Life is just Living and there is less of me, or even there is no me and everything is flowing beautifully. Ahhh, im Home 🙂 … im content, at peace, I have found Love again.

    Then there are periods where it doesnt seem like im at Home… the body has turbulence and uncomfortableness, the mind is turbulent and unclear and noisy and agitated. Maybe it seems like many things are going “my” way, accidents happens. I feel a bit more trapped in my sense of self and the intense emotions and thoughts that come with. I feel a depression that isnt related to any life circumstance.. many things in life can seem pointless in relation to this peace and Clarity I once had… nothing else matters compared to the feeling of being at Home in this moment, of feeling serene and Love

    But I have to remind myself that I am always at Home, always at Peace and ive just lost the perspective temporarily. A really nice quote that helps me remember this is by an old Master named Lao Tzu:
    Muddy water let stand, becomes clear
    Do you have the patience to let the water become clear again?

    Im not sure if that is the exact quote but is very close… But I feel like my life is kinda like a body of water. When there is turbulence in my body/mind, it feels like its totally unclear, murky, dark, dense, heavy, I can’t see clearly. But given the right conditions, the mind and body can begin to settle and the “mud” naturally settles again and the water becomes clear, and I can see things a bit more clearly, and this makes a huge difference.

    I hope anyone that reads this maybe gets a little reassurance that they haven’t lost the Happiness or Bliss or Love or Peace or whatever we wish to call it… forever… its actually always there, we just lost the clear perspective we had before. Now its just discovering/uncovering our individual path for keeping the waters clear.

  9. Stephen says:

    I am so lost, and yet when I see others that are lost, I find myself. I see so much beauty that it makes me sad. I see sadness, but I don’t share in it – I alleviate it.

    But when I have alleviated it, I wonder what I have done. Whether I did the right thing, or perhaps if I hurt rather than helped. I love the world so much that it overwhelms my heart and almost breaks it.

    I cannot express the thing I feel, because it is all between the words. But I can see it between your words. And now I think of what Alan Watts said — “What does your own head look like to your eyes? You can’t see it, because it’s the world in front of you. That is why there are other people.”

    But to accept that means to accept that I have created everything in front of me, then. That I would be such a cruel being as to create others to suffer. Or perhaps I was created by someone else to learn that very lesson. I can’t know the truth behind these things, because that is my altered nature.

    And that fills me with such a… heartache for home, a longing, a nostalgia. I wonder how that can possibly be if I am already home. Where am I?

    How can I believe what I know to be true? I can’t express into words this thing that I feel. In the unfathomable rarity of stumbling across a being like yourself who has lived my soul before I asked the question, it only thrusts me back into the delusion by thinking ‘there is no way this can be real’.

    It’s a strange thing to be lost without having wandered.

    • 21st Century Bodhi says:

      Dear Stephan! I hear you, and recognize you. After all these years of experiencing everything external as, quite literally, myself, all the ponderous questions of why and how could it be so cruel and why all the suffering have become quiet. It’s a phase, and there is no answer that can be approached from the human perspective. You are NOT here to learn lessons of any kind, and certainly not about suffering or alleviating suffering. What I’ve found is that letting my heart break is the point. Over and over, day after day. It breaks, not to be ruined or “broken”, but to burst through the membrane that has formed around it that limits what it might contain. It rips through the membrane and tears it. It hurts, to be sure. But the result is a heart with a larger capacity. Then a membrane forms around that, which eventually gets broken, and so on. After all these years, it’s never stopped for me, so I ease into each death and rebirth, breathe right into it. It always hurts, always. But the result is always more space, the ability to hold more than before, and that includes holding all kinds of observations and experiences that cannot be reconciled by the mind, such as all the suffering and all the beauty. Things that don’t seemingly go together can sit peacefully right next to each other as you get larger and larger. It allows you to embrace what appears without demanding an explanation from yourself or from God or whatever your paradigm may be.

  10. Padster says:

    My life continues to take a nose-dive. It’s all pointless. I am seriously depressed and have a chasm of emptiness inside me. I don’t want to do anything except sit and weep. Pardon my French, but f*ck God. ‘He’, ‘It’ has left me seriously screwed up. I am now faced with the prospect of going to the doctor to admit that I have major depression and I need drugs to help me function as a normal human being. More f*cking drugs. As if I am not on enough already.

    [quote] Chris: “where i stand is like being on the other side of the pure and powerful emptiness, its powerless, and i feel powerless to the dark. i try to be, go back to my old life where i had no clue of a world beyond this one, but i cant, i cant deny the world beyond this one, but i also do not know if it exists either. i feel trapped in the middle of it all. i feel like the sacred self, the sacred home has been destroyed, and i feel homeless. the home i felt comfort in is gone and i cry out all the time for it to become rebuilt, but i feel as though it never will be. im depressed and homesick in myself. this experience of myself is hell, and i just want to escape it all togethe”r.[/quote]

    I feel EXACTLY like this. I have started to abuse painkillers because its the only way I can relax my mind, a mind which is in utter turmoil. I would rather be in a catatonic state than to continue living in this waking nightmare.

    I have felt this emptiness now for well over a week, and it scares me. What if its permanent?

  11. The Observer says:

    Hi everybody,
    I went through hell during my spiritual awakening ! I know it sounds ironical but it’s true. I literally hit rock bottom. However during the last few months of my awakening I made a full blown recovery . Phew ! That was a relief. It took a while and I couldn’t imagine ever getting out of it but miraculously I did. I went through all the stages :- depression, pointlessness, emptiness and the absolute lack of will/motivation to do anything . But just as swiftly as it had set in, it went away ie the depression lifted and I became normalised and was reintegrated back into my world. I feel that the whole process takes some time, but you come back stronger and revitalised. You just need to hang in there.
    Love to all.

    • Steve Johnson says:

      Thank you. I have a feeling I will pull through too. It’s tough to practice patience when you’re in agony ahh bring me back to life please!

  12. Lauren Hicks says:

    I have been this way for a few years now…I’ve called out to God begging him to let me die..to let me go home. The high I had before this darkness was such a feeling of unity and love that brought me to joyful tears. Now those tears are tears of loneliness and emptiness, I feel a dark pit in my stomach and depression so low that I’m being attacked by dark entities..bed shaking, not breathing, and ribs feeling like they are being crushed to the point it awakens me at night. The darkest nightmares you can imagine and it is frequent. I am weak again when I had become so strong before. I really need help.

  13. Aizen says:

    Hi thank you all for expressing your feeling in some way it helps me. But my problem is I feel all the things that is described in this post. I’ve always felt like this from i was a child, feelings of emptiness and incompletion but i would just ignore it and move on did something to distract my mind from it. As i grew older I started to associate it with the love i felt for people, figured this is the way you feel when you get your heart broken. After getting my heart broken many times in my life I decided not to really love anymore so that this feeling would go away and it never did it is still here no matter who i love or who loves me. I can’t get rid of these feelings nothing i do make it go away, nobody i love nothing helps. I live my life like a zombie i do what I’m suppose to do because Im alive and deep down i have no interest in anything at all but I can have anything at all but wanting nothing but not to be here. I am 35 now and about 2 years ago I started researching about this feeling cause nothing i do make is go away I came across a lot of stuff on spiritual enlightenment. I learned about chakras and the world of duality and the truth about this one but still i feel no enlightenment no peace just empty no matter what i do. Im awaken now to the illusions of this world but still I’m empty. I just don’t want to be here anymore I don’t want to be anywhere I just don’t want to exist anymore. I don’t want to kill myself because of my respect for life but like someone said my mind is telling me that i should that is the only way out. But i know its not it would just be a waste of time fro me to do that cause I would just start over in a world that is more spiritually oppressed so it would be even more harder the next time around. I just don’t know what to do

    • anne says:

      Hello Aizen and everybody,

      I’m in a similar situation..
      I have had feelings of emptiness my whole life and from 12 years on depression. In my case it has for a very big part something to do with my not so nice childhood. But maybe it’s also just a part of me. I’ve been on medication and had regular and alternative therapy for more than twenty years. I’m certainly a seeker out of Mental Health issues. I’ve been also more than 10 years studying and practicing meditation and stuff about spirituality, Buddhism-like things and enlightenment. I also experienced some paranormal things but I never put an real explanation on it. I think you can never know what really happens as a human. Over the years i changed my view of life and the world. From someone who want to get happiness out of the world to someone who thinks the only way to get real happiness is to go to your inner self cutting trough all the difficult feelings and thought.

      Last six months i started to work with self-control to ‘rise above’ all the feelings and thoughts who i’m not. I started to listen to my real self and not to my head and my cravings. I could feel in my body what i had to do in each situation. It was getting ascetic. I held myself back from social interactions, only saying the most important things at work. My family and friends i kept a distance at. And everything i wanted that was fun, tasty, and wasn’t necessary for keeping alive and letting my life get on i skipped. So little to eat and drink and sleeping little as well. Not because i wanted that but because i felt in my body that it was the right thing to do. I felt getting stronger because i less and less relied on the external world and people. I also started to feel distant from other peoples little drama’s and occupations. And i felt an inner power getting bigger. The feeling that there was only one thing really important and that was the connection with my inner self. But it was also very difficult because all day long i had to listen to my self and check what was the right thing to do while also my ego-desires were being felt in my body. And i had to mediate for days, to restrain my feelings of for example neediness. And I had to wait all the time before i could take some action like for example making dinner in order to restrain my desires and my impatience. It felt that my ego was being broke down. But i had to do that all myself. At a time i stopped this way of behaving and immediately i felt some sort of headache and bad vibe in my body, just like the energy flow in my body is being cut off in some sort way.
      Because of that unpleasant feelings I started on and on by listening to ‘my self’ and every time i stopped i got these physical complaints. Now for more than a month a stopped totally and I’m still having those complaints…And of course my depression came back after two days i stopped the restrain and self control. And because it was very intense and I’ve been working up to this for years everything seams pointless.

      So now i have bad feeling in my body, I’m depressed, everything seems more empty than before, i almost have no friends anymore, and there’s is no real perspective of the situation getting better. Except when i’m starting to listen to my real self..and that is so hard i really want to avoid that. And at the same time that’s the only thing worth living for, is seems.
      I would rather get back in a deep sleep or have a smoother transition…I So when somebody can help me in any way let me know. I don’t know I put this message on the right place on this site.

      greetings, Anne

  14. Maury Lee says:

    There seems to be a pattern here of first awakening to unity, oneness, bliss, and then that dropping away and experiencing meaninglessness. It’s happened to me over and over again.

    One thing that helped was that during a short experience of ecstasy years ago, I was given this non verbal knowing, what came was this. “You are surrounded by absolute beuaty, you have always been surrounded by absolute beauty, and you always will be, whether or not you are aware of it.”

    As you know, in awakenings, non verbal communication comes like a download of knowing. It is direct and without words, yet the understanding is there. These downloads are so profound and come with so much authority that there is no questioning of it possible.

    So, after the bliss, unity, oneness passes, what do you do with the meaningless that is now present. I suggest that it is relative. In other words, when the bliss is so full, so overwhelmingly beautiful and lovely, when it passes what’s left in comparison seems like nothing. However, prior to the ecstasy, there was nothing to compare it to. So it is a relative depression.

    It seems that enlightenment is a process that continues, even if the initial realization was sudden. The best advice I can give is that one must take it in stride. Time lessons the relative comparison. I am 67 and this has been going on for years. There is little self identity, but there is still a body here, hanging around. It wants to eat, and have shelter, so I still go to work because I can.

    Since I was young I always felt that at some time I would be a teacher of wisdom. But I am still waiting to feel wise. May never happen. But, I know that what is left of body-mind is not mine, and I am not in charge. What will happen will happen, and I am good with that.

  15. andrew says:

    I’ve also recently gone through an awakening phase and experienced a ‘rebirth’ as it were. The recognition of what I am capable of in some ways is fantastic but I feel much the same in the way of depression and emptiness as the others posting. I’m obsessed with trying to figure everything out and it leads to confusion and difficulty with slipping back into the present-mindedness that I achieved that allowed the crossing of the threshold into an awareness of consciousness and unity of all. I also feel like I want to be guided despite having got to this point on my own so to speak and I feel aspects of how others live around me sap my positivity to the point where I feel like I can’t talk about it with anyone. I’m trying to regain my generally jovial attitude but I feel like an old man with the inescapable knowledge of what I have experienced and find my eyebrows constantly furrowed and my face like a rock instead of smiling and happy.

  16. Annabel says:

    To all your beautiful souls….Sally Kempton speaks wisely around the topic of cycles of transformation…worth a read…in each stage of we can find acceptance of what is.. knowing it is all part of the whole…the light and the dark (there is no separation between the two) as anything we are perceiving still is all part of the illusion…even the bliss states ‘you’ are still experiencing them. So just watch with awareness each part of your cycle in this mind/body …try to allow it to be…is it just you rebirthing! And each time the old part of your identity wanting to hold on to what it knows…it fears the ‘unknown truth’. To all those experiencing nothingness in relative reality you still have a brain…and you still have free will…if you wish …make a choice to start rebuilding new neural pathways back to balance…use affirmations everyday to re-program the subconscious (this part of our mind I believe is a reflection of group consciousness that jung writes about). you can also choose to stay stuck..yes I’m absolute reality /nothing is real but we incarnated into a hunan for some reason to experience this…use your human wisely….use it to create compassion for self and others…love to you all. I’m not claiming to be right or wrong in just sharing my perspective from the work I do and the strange experiences this life has given me. Namaste xxx

  17. Tom says:

    The reality is there is no emptiness after spiritual enlightenment. It’s spiritual fullness because your True Personality is divine. You are God, believe it or not. What was empty was the ‘self’ that believed you were not, and all the self-oriented activities you pursued.

  18. Andrei says:

    thank you for this article. It really make me cope with the “no purpose and empty” feeling.. also i am still fighting with the contrast between heaven and earth.. I think most importantly is to choose joy and that’s it. Best wishes!

  19. Andrew Nowacki says:

    Man this spiritual awakening is hard. I have been going through such a hard spot, feeling the complete pointlessness of life.

    I mean this thing is so massive for me, it’s beyond virtually anything I’ve read about or heard of. I’m talking endless Biblical and Bhagavad-Gita downloads ( neither of which I had read), hundreds of visions, prophesies, past life experiences, you name it. It just goes on and on and on.

    I was always different as a kid, very introspective and intelligent, kind, and for some reason extremely good at whatever I tried to do. Naturally I got bored and lost interest in most things.

    So I just spent most of my life journaling and trying to work on myself, interested in self-improvement. Then at 40 years old I got really sick for the first time in my life, and I began having revelations. It was proposterous to me, and yet here I was, having never been religious in my life, receiving communications found in ancient sacred texts.

    And now I wander around without purpose, finding no meaning in relationships anymore, just listening to the audio Bible on my iPhone or listening to ancient Sanskrit mantras. I hate living in this world, I want to get out of here, I hate it here. It’s way too hard for me. It was horrible growing up, I was always too sensitive, and now it is like on hyperdrive.

    It pisses me off to no end, to see how western advertising portrays spiritual awakening. They show some girl on a yoga mat who looks totally blissed out in perfect yoga clothes. Give me a break.

    Spiritual awakening sucks, there is no comfort here on this earth plane, and I have no idea how on earth I am going to make it through the next 40 years of my life.

    What’s funny is that I tried to tell people about this over and over again, and I finally gave up. I tried so many times, but nobody could understand it, and the most they could do was say, “have you tried ashwahanda?”

    When you’ve seen what’s beyond this, and you try to communicate to someone who hasn’t, it doesn’t go well. I’ve given up, so I just stick to myself. When someone asked me how my weekend was, now I just say “good. “It feels so empty and stupid, but I just can’t relate to people.

    Life is an illusion, and so is death, but it makes no difference because it’s painful to be here. No matter how much I volunteer, or try to help people, when I am alone with myself a horrible feelings set in and I’m faced with having to get up tomorrow and do this all over again.

    Thanks for the article. It brought a brief relief to me.

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